About Billy Graham’s recent public statements

August 8, 2012

Fred Clark, a liberal evangelical blogger who blogs as Slacktivist, is worked up because of Billy Graham’s recent public statements regarding gay marriage and Chick-fil-A. Given Graham’s hard-earned reputation (at least since the Nixon White House) for non-partisanship, why would he risk tarnishing his image by speaking out on such a polarizing issue now?

In so many words, Clark writes, he wouldn’t. Other people—like his politically outspoken son, Franklin—must be exploiting the frail 93-year-old. To which I ask, how does he know? While Graham’s physical health has deteriorated due to age and Parkinson’s, no one, to my knowledge, has questioned his mental acuity.

Besides, even if Clark’s allegations are true, does Clark really believe that Billy Graham doesn’t support the traditional definition of marriage, or that he wouldn’t support Dan Cathy’s family at a time like this? Give me a break!

Worst case, wouldn’t Billy Graham’s handlers simply be putting into words what Graham believes in his heart anyway? Again, I’m not saying that’s what’s going on—and if it is, it’s wrong—but worst case

If you’re a Christian who stands on Clark’s side of this divisive issue, have the courage to oppose the convictions of someone like Billy Graham, not the fact that he may actually have given voice to those convictions. I want people to say what they mean. Doesn’t Clark? I want public leaders to be more transparent, not less. Why doesn’t Clark want this, too?

I suspect it’s because he really loves and respects Billy Graham. If you’re an evangelical Christian, how could you not? It’s surely a less bitter pill for Clark to swallow if he imagines that Franklin, the partisan hack, is calling the shots. Don’t ya think?

As someone who supports the United Methodist Church’s traditional stance on marriage and homosexuality, I accept that good Christian people whom I love and respect disagree with me on this issue. And it’s not because they don’t believe the Bible, or they’re not faithful Christians, or they’re not acting in good faith. We simply disagree.

But by all means, let’s talk openly about our disagreement. Let’s not keep it to ourselves.

6 Responses to “About Billy Graham’s recent public statements”

  1. Tom Harkins Says:

    I find it absurd for anyone to suggest that Franklin Graham would “ghost write” for his dad at any time or on any topic. And Billy’s position against homosexual marriage also has nothing to do with “bipartisanship.” Billy’s not telling anyone whom they should vote for. He’s addressing an issue of morality (and spirituality). I trust Billy is and has always been willing to “stand up for what’s right” in that department. The significance of Billy standing up here as far as the liberals are concerned is that it defeats their ad hominem attacks on everyone who opposes their position, since it is a little difficult to write off Billy Graham that way. Thanks, Billy, for taking such a courageous stand!

  2. Jack McManus Says:

    Brent – I was able to attend the first speech given by Dan Cathy since his remarks. The speech was last Friday and less than 100 people in attendence. Dan had to have security because of all the death threats. I wish everyone could have heard him speak that morning. Dan was humorous and insightful. He feels that God must be calling him for a different journey and is not sure where that journey is going to lead. One piece of scripture he discussed was Matthew 5:41 – “Whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.” We need to take actions and not just words. Clean parking lot, clean bathroom and warm greeting of Welcome to chickfila how may I help you? May I take your order? This is the first mile and simply a transaction at Chick-Fil-A. The Second mile is a relationship ..it is carrying a plate of food for mom with full hands, asking if the person ordering a salad would like fresh ground pepper.
    All cultures around the world seek out dignity, honor and respect. People will gravitate towards these experiences. Think about taking your wife out to eat on a special occasion to a sit down restaurant vs fast food because some one comes and serves you and there is an emotional connection. What if you received this second mile treatment at a fast food at Chick-Fil-A? This second mile is what we should try to achieve in professional and personal life – people will folow you because of your actions and not words.. Dan Cathy was asked how can we help you at the end? Dan said pray for their operators because they are in the front lines, pray for the 200 college presidents as kids come back to college and how will they handle the pressure. Pray for the Chick-Fil-A college kickoff bowl (first college football game ot be played this year in the country). I am going to close with the person introducing Dan said he met him in the parking lot. As they were walking towards the entrance Dan stopped and bent down several times picking up trash in the parking lot. I would say Dan Cathy is a very humble man that has his priorities with God in the right place.
    See you next Sunday!
    Jack McManus

    • brentwhite Says:

      Thanks for sharing that, Jack! What a great philosophy for business. It sounds like humility is the right word for the kind of person that Dan Cathy is.

  3. Scott Sholar Says:

    Thank you for sharing, and God bless you. I wrote a piece on this subject last week.

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